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When James Harden's trade request from the Houston Rockets turned into a circus

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden

James Harden had a legendary eight-year run with the Houston Rockets, which resulted in eight All-Star selections, seven All-NBA selections, three consecutive scoring titles, and the 2017-2018 NBA MVP award.

Prior to his ninth season with the franchise, however, Harden requested a trade following the departure of head coach Mike D'Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey. Harden's trade request soured what was a great run in the city of Houston as he showed up to training camp late and out of shape, leading many to label him as unprofessional.

While James Harden eventually got his wish, as he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets, it came after a long, drawn-out saga.

Reporting with @RamonaShelburne: Brooklyn is acquiring Houston’s James Harden in a blockbuster deal, sources tell ESPN.

In return for Harden, the Houston Rockets received a haul that included four first-round picks and four first-round pick swaps.

Watch James Harden's highlights below:

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James Harden's trade request from Brooklyn Nets

After giving up nearly a full decade worth of first-round picks, as well as Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert for Harden, many expected the Brooklyn Nets to become perennial title contenders. Unfortunately for Nets fans, things did not work out that way, as Harden spent only one postseason with the organization.

With Harden and Kyrie Irving both injured, Kevin Durant was forced to carry the load. While he was able to take the eventual-champion Milwaukee Bucks to seven games, and nearly won Game 7, if not for his oversized shoes, Durant and the Nets were eliminated.

The following season, with Irving out due to New York State vaccination laws and Durant injured, Harden became increasingly frustrated. After asking for a trade, he received his wish, as he was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brooklyn was unable to recoup most of the value that they traded to acquire Harden just a year prior. The Nets received a package centered around Ben Simmons and two first-round draft picks, a far cry from the eight that they gave up to acquire Harden.

While there is still plenty of time to figure out the winners and losers of the trade thus far, it has not worked out well for either side. Harden and Simmons have both been in and out of their respective lineups due to injury. Furthermore, the 76ers and Nets have both struggled to remain competitive this season despite entering the year with championship aspirations. It remains to be seen if either franchise will ultimately be able to accomplish their lofty goals.

Watch more of James Harden's highlights below:

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Edited by Caleb Gebrewold
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